This Sunday, WWE presents its 25th annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view, headlined by the traditional 30-man Royal Rumble match as the main event. In this highly anticipated bout, 30 Superstars will fight for a chance to compete for a World Championship in the main event of WrestleMania, but only one will emerge victorious.
Of course, the chances of correctly predicting the Royal Rumble are always slim given WWE's on-the-fly booking, but one can only hope that they have a definite winner in mind prior to the big event. However, when thinking about the number of possibilities for this year's winner, only an elite few come to mind.
With this year's show transpiring in St. Louis, I see as to why hometown hero Randy Orton would be a strong candidate to "return" and win it all. Then again, the Viper won the Rumble three years ago as well, and came up short of winning the WWE Championship from Triple H at WrestleMania 25.
Another popular name floating around on the internet dirt sheets is none other than Chris Jericho, the same man who just returned a mere three weeks ago. As much as I'd love to see him compete for the WWE Championship against CM Punk at WrestleMania, Y2J doesn't need a Royal Rumble victory to earn him that shot, as that feud basically writes itself.
That brings me to my final choice to win the 2012 Royal Rumble. Someone who knows both Jericho and Barrett extremely well, a man by the name of Wade Barrett.
Since arriving in WWE two years ago as apart of NXT, there was no doubt that Barrett would one day become World Champion given his impressive physique, natural in-ring talent, and solid skills on the mic. Although he competed for the WWE Championship on a number of occasions in 2010, he was unable to capture the gold each time.
Going into 2011, Barrett's career took a downward spiral for the first half of the year, having a forgettable reign as Intercontinental Champion in addition to the self-destruction of The Corre. However, things began to look up for the Englishman in the latter months, proclaiming that his Barrett Barrage would soon lead him to WWE's golden prize.
At the moment, Wade Barrett has never looked stronger, already dishing out pain on the likes of Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, and Sheamus. With his claims that he will indeed be the "one" come January 29th, I couldn't agree more with the former Nexus leader's accusations.
Continuing to pursue the Barrett Barrage as a force to reckoned with would be a smart move at this point, and having him win the Royal Rumble match would only be another feather in the cap of an already spectacular career. Barrett's capturing his first World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 28 could make for an extraordinary moment, becoming the first English World Champion in the process.
Personally, I'd book it as the following...
The last three superstars left in the ring at the conclusion of the Royal Rumble match are Wade Barrett, Chris Jericho, and Randy Orton. The Viper throws out Jericho in retaliation for punt kicking him in the head a year and a half ago, while Barrett tosses over Orton to win it for himself.
At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Randy Orton captures his fourth World Heavyweight Championship by winning the SmackDown Elimination Chamber, lastly eliminating Daniel Bryan. Earlier in the night, Barrett defeats recent rival Sheamus to retain his WrestleMania title shot opportunity.
On the grandest stage of them all, Orton defends his championship against both the Royal Rumble winner Wade Barrett and former champ Daniel Bryan, both who have a history together in NXT and Nexus. Meanwhile, Barrett can culminate his feud with Orton by defeating him for his World Championship.
None of this will be possible without Wade Barrett winning this year's Royal Rumble, as it provides the perfect angle going into the Show of Shows. Fingers crossed that some of this suggested storyline ends up coming to fruition.
If you're not down with that, I've got too words for you: BOOK IT!
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and make sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on Wade Barrett and your predicted outcome of this year's Royal Rumble match. As always, your criticism and overall feedback on my latest piece is welcome and greatly appreciated.